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Manufacturing(?) consensus
#1
Climate Etc.

July 16,2011

by Judith Curry

EXCERPT:

The consensus on anthropogenic climate change provided by the IPCC is the source of much controversy. Central to the controversy is the meaning and implications of “consensus,” in both scientific and sociological contexts.

Some important insights on this issue are provided by this paper on The authority of the IPCC and the manufacture of consensus by Jean Goodwin at Iowa State University. Some excerpts are provided below:

Through a series of (up to now) four reports starting in 1990, the IPCC has managed to establish as a political “given” that the earth is warming, and that human activity is a significant cause. The fourth report was the occasion for the Bush II administration’s shift from statements like this:

LINK
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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